The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically transformed the third-year medical school curriculum. Due to the AAMC and public agencies’ guidelines, there was an abrupt cessation of teaching medical students in the clinical setting. At the UNM SOM, students were transitioned to a hybrid curriculum consisting of 6 months of 3-week virtual clerkships followed by 6 months of clinical clerkships. At the end of each virtual rotation, students were required to take the NBME shelf exams. This study aims to examine the difference between the shelf exam scores of the class of 2022 to the class of 2021 and 2020 students. De-identified Surgery shelf exam scores were obtained for the class of 2021 (n=82) and 2022 (n=52). Similarly, de-identified Pediatric clerkship shelf exam scores were obtained for the classes of 2020 (n=103), 2021 (n=82) and 2022 (n=133). We excluded failing scores from the class of 2022’s Pediatrics scores to account for lack of retakes. We performed two-tailed t-tests assuming unequal variances on the equated and percentile scores at 95% confidence level (p=0.05) between the three classes. For Pediatrics, there was no significant difference for equated (p=0.70) and percentile scores (p=0.33) between the class of 2022 and 2021. However, there was a significant difference between the class of 2022 and 2020 (p=0.003). For Surgery, there was no significant difference in equated or percentile scores between the class of 2022 and 2021 (p=0.502, 0.528). While the curriculum differed between the three classes, shelf exam scores had no significant difference aside from the Pediatrics equated scores for the class of 2020 and 2022. Based on these results, the 3-week virtual curriculum prepared students as well to take the shelf exams compared to the traditional 8-week curriculum. The online curriculum for the two virtual clerkships may have helped facilitate learning similar to that in a clinical setting. The same analysis is warranted for the remaining five clerkships.
Esguerra, Stephen; Fiona Thuy Nguyen; Joyce Pang; Bradley Pickett; and Ming Li Wang. "Impact of Virtual Curriculum on Shelf Exams." (2021). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/hsc_ed_day/70